We had the good fortune of connecting with Breta Alstrom, MS, RDN and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Breta, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When I started Nourished Together, I saw this gap in care for autistic kids and their families and knew that the best way to fix it was to create a space where the needs of families can be prioritized. There aren’t any major health systems prioritizing comprehensive care for autistic kids, everyone has multiple providers that don’t always talk to each other and that results in care falling through the cracks. At the end of the day, I could work in a hospital and fight everyday for better care for these families, or I could create something that is truly accessible from the ground up.
What should our readers know about your business?
Nourished Together is a nutrition practice that specializes in family nutrition for families of kids with complex health needs. We are different from other nutrition practices because we offer a completely customizable experience based on the needs and values of the family. We are able to provide care virtually, in our office, and in our clients homes. Everyone has unique needs and we are able to build programs that prioritize accessibility and personal goals from picky eating to genetic testing.
The biggest challenge isn’t starting a business, but having the consistency to maintain and grow a business. The last year or so was an unforeseen challenge, it threw a wrench in our entire business model and took everything virtual, limiting our services. Staying committed to the mission of Nourished Together is key for overcoming these challenges and we are getting back to our base model and adding new services daily.
I feel like I’m learning lessons everyday, but I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that you really have to believe in what your doing. Growing a business isn’t just about financial freedom, flexibility, or making your own rules; you have to love the game of entrepreneurship and love the service your business provides. Otherwise, it’s just not worth it.
I grew up in a neurodiverse house but I never knew it. In part because I thought it was normal and also because I didn’t have the language to describe it. But now that I know better, I can recognize the supports that I needed to be successful growing up. Not everyone has the luxury of a supportive community, a family member who understands them, or even access to someone who knows what they are living through. At Nourished Together, it’s not just about helping the child heal, but showing parents that moving through life with a neurodiverse child doesn’t have to be a struggle when you have the right tools.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I haven’t been in Arizona long, but I’m such a foodie and when people come to visit that’s what I plan to do! I would hope to get out to Lake Pleasant for a Diving excursion, then back to the city for Saint Pasta. Over the next day or so, lunch at Green, happy hour at the Chestnut, and finish the day with a night swim. Then round of the trip with a brutal Camelback hike.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The family and self-advocates from the Kansas LEND (leadership education in neurodevelopmental and related disabilities) deserves all the credit for highlighting what is missing in our current healthcare system for people with disabilities and their families.